FertiCult™ IVF medium

Bicarbonate buffered cell culture medium for use in IVF

FertiCult™ IVF medium is a chemically balanced salt solution with 0.4% HSA for the in vitro culture of mammalian embryos. It is designed for short term culture only (until 2PN). The medium is complete and needs no further additives.

All the products in the FertiCult™ product range undergo strict quality control to comply with the following specifications:

 pH 7.2-7.5 (37°C - 6% CO2)
 Osmolality 270-290mOsm/kg
 Sterility Sterile
 Endotoxine < 0.25 EU/mL
 Mouse embryo test (1 cell to expanded blastocyst after 96h culture) ≥ 80% blastocysts after 96h culture in standard medium (fertilization in FertiCult IVF medium)
 Shelflife 12 months from date of produce
 Albumin FDA (USA) and EMEA (Europe) compliant

Product order codes

FECU020 FertiCult IVF medium - 5x20ml
FECU050 FertiCult IVF medium - 5x50ml
FECU100 FertiCult IVF medium - 3x100ml
FECU020PHR FertiCult IVF medium w/ - 5x20ml
FECU050PHR FertiCult IVF medium w/ - 5x50ml
FECU100PHR FertiCult IVF medium w/ - 3x100ml
FECU020PHR_G FertiCult IVF medium w/ & gentamicin - 5x20ml
FECU050PHR_G FertiCult IVF medium w/ & gentamicin - 5x50ml
FECU100PHR_G FertiCult IVF medium w/ & gentamicin - 3x100ml

The product composition can be found in the MSDS (see Resources). Additional information on some components is provided below:

Component Benefit
Human insulin (recombinant 50 IU/l)

FertiCult IVF medium contains 50 IU/liter recombinant insulin (human) to enhance medium properties.

Insulin is known to enhance sperm motility and acrosome reaction (which is beneficial for fertilization) (Lampiao and du Plessis 2008), and has an anti-apoptotic activity (which is beneficial for embryo culture) (Herrler, et al. 1998) (Spanos, et al. 2000).

In vivo, the maternal reproductive tract is also known to produce insulin and insulin like growth factors (Lighten, et al. 1996) (Hai-Yan and Zi-Neng 2001).

HSA (4 g/L)

FertiCult IVF medium contains 4 g/Liter Human Serum Albumin (HSA) to optimize medium performances. HSA is universally added to most ART media because it is widely considered to be of benefit.

The role of albumin in ART media is extensive, including:

- Stabilization of the cell membrane of the embryo in the medium (Malda, et al. 2008).
- Inhibition of lipid peroxidation that can be damaging to sperm (Alvarez and Storey 1995).
- Carrier and source of essential molecules needed by the embryo (Malda, et al. 2008)
- Detoxification by binding waste products from cell metabolism (Blake, et al. 2004)
- Facilitating gamete/embryo manipulation by preventing adsorption to the surface through saturation of potential binding sites (Blake, et al. 2004)

Phenol red sodium salt (0.003 g/L)

FertiCult IVF medium is also available with the addition of phenol red.

Phenol red functions as a visual pH indicator:
- > 7.35: the medium is colored red to purple.
- 7.15 - 7.35: the medium is colored pink to rose.
- < 7.15: the medium is colored yellow.

0.003 g/L is the minimum concentration of phenol red needed to view a color (Fleming and Cooke 2008). pH stabilization is essential when handling gametes or embryos. Therefore, validation of pH changes is strongly recommended. Changes in medium color also act as an indicator for bacterial or fungal contamination. Infection affects pH and this can easily be observed in medium containing a pH indicator such as phenol red.

Gentamicin sulphate (10 mg/L)

FertiCult IVF medium is also available with the addition of gentamicin sulphate.

Indeed, even under aseptic conditions, commensal bacteria are easily introduced in culture media. Since these contaminations can be detrimental to gametes, embryos and ART outcome, a large number of customers choose to use media supplemented with gentamicin (Quinn 2014).

Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) tests done by FertiPro N.V. have demonstrated that embryo culture media supplemented with 0.010 g/L gentamicin efficiently eliminate bacterial growth.

Even though, each handling should be performed under strict aseptic conditions (LAF-bench)!

Product literature

     Benchaib M., Braun V., Ressnikof D., Lornage J., Durand P., Niveleau A., Guerin J.F., Influence of global sperm DNA methylation on IVF results, Human Reproduction (2005),Vol.20,No.3,pp.768-773
     Chen N., Liow S-L., Yip W-Y., Tan L-G., Tong G-Q., NG S-C., Dynamic Changes in Microtubules and Early Development of Reconstructed Embryos after Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer in a Non-Human Primate, Cloning and Stem Cells (2006),Vol.8,No.4,pp.251-258
     Dadoune J.P., Pawlak A., Alfonsi M.F., Siffroi J.P., Identification of transcripts by macroarrays, RTPCR and in situ hybridization in human ejaculate spermatozoa, Molecular Human Reproduction (2005),Vol.11,No.2,pp.133-140
     Gruber I., Klein M., Embryo culture media for human IVF: which possibilities exist?, J Turkish-German Gynecol Assoc (2011),Vol.12,pp.110-7
     How to demonstrate that eSET does not compromise the likelihood of having a baby?, Bechoua S., Astruc K., Thouvenot S., Girod S., Chiron A., Jimenez C., Sagot P., Human Reproduction (2009),Vol.24,No.12,pp.3073-3081
     Ng S-C., Chen N., Yip W-Y., Liow S-L., Tong G-Q., Martelli B., Tan L.G., Martellli P., The first cell cycle after transfer of somatic cell nuclei in a non-human primate, Development and Disease (2004),Vol.131,No.10,pp.2475-2484
     Perraguin-Jayot S., Audebert A., Emperaire J.C., Parneix I., Ongoing pregnancies after intracytoplasmic injection using cryopreserved testicular spermatozoa, Human Reproduction (1997),Vol.12,No.12,pp.2706-2709
     Uhrin P., Dewerchin M., Hilpert M., Chrenek P., Schöfer C., Zechmeister-Machhart M., Krönke G., Vales A., Carmeliet P., Binder B.R., Geiger M., Disruption of the protein C inhibitor gene results in impaired spermatogenesis and male infertility, The Journal of Clinical Investigation (2000),Vol.106,No.12,pp.1531-1539
     Wolff J-P., Day 3 compared to day 2 cryopreservation does not affect embryo survival but improves the outcome of frozen-thawed embryo transfers, Fertility and Sterility (2006),Vol.86,No.5,pp.1537-40
     Zairi A., Belad A., Gahbiche A., Hani K., Spermicidal activity of dermaseptins, Contraception (2005),Vol.72,pp.447-453
     Ziyyat A., Naud-Barriant N., Barraud-Lange V., Chevalier F., Kulksi O., Lemkecher T., Bomsel M., Wolf J.P., Cyclic FEE peptide increases human gamete fusion and potentiates its RGD-induced inhibition, Human Reproduction (2005),Vol.20,No.12,pp.3452-3458
     Ziyyat A., Rubinstein E., Monier-Gavelle F., Barraud V., Kulski O., Prenant M., Boucheix C., Bomsel M., Wolf J-P., CD9 controls the formation of clusters that contain tetraspanins and the integrin alpha6beta1, which are involved in human and mouse gamete fusion, Journal of Cell Science (2006),Vol.119,pp.416-424

Literature concerning the components

     Alvarez, JG., and BT. Storey, Differential incorporation of fatty acids into and peroxidative loss of fatty acids from phospholipids of human spermatozoa., Mol Reprod Dev. (1995),Vol.42,No.3,pp.334-46
     Blake, D., P. Svalander, M. Jin, C. Silversand, and L. Hamberger., Protein Supplementation of Human IVF Culture Media., Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics (2004),Vol.19,No.3,pp.137-143
     Fleming, S., Cooke, S., 4.3.7 Use of coloured pH-indicators - advantages and disadvantages., In Textbook of Assisted Reproduction for Scientists in Reproductive Technology; Australia: Vivid Publishing (2008),pp.78-79
     Hai-Yan Jin, Zi-Neng Wang, Insulin-like growth factors and their receptors in human fallopian tube in reproductive-age women., Fertility and Sterility (2001),Vol.0,pp.1037-1038
     Herrler A, Krusche CA, Beier HM, Insuin and insulin-like growth factor-I promote rabbit blastocyst development and prevent apoptosis., Biology of reproduction (1998),pp.1302-1310
     Lampiao F, du Plessis SS., Insulin and leptin enhance human sperm motility, acrosome reaction and nitic oxide production., Asian Journal of Andrology (2008),Vol.0,pp.799-807
     Lighten AD, Hardy K, Winston RML, Moore GE, Expression of mRNA for the insulin like growth factors and their receptors in human preimplantation embryos., Molecular reproduction and development (1996),pp.134-139
     Malda, J. et al., Cell Nutrition, In Tissue engineering, by C. Van Blitterswijk. London, UK: Academia Press, Elsevier, (2008),pp.327-362
     Quinn, Media and embryo interactions - anitbiotics, In Culture media, Solutions, and Systems in Human ART, by P. Quinn, 14. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press (2014)
     Spanos S, Becker DL, Winston RML, Hardy K. , Anti-apoptotic action of insulin-like growth factor-I during human preimplantation embryo development., Biology of reproduction (2000),pp.1413-1420


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